All Nuclear chemistry and radioactivity articles – Page 2

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    Elements

    Lithium

    2012-11-01T00:00:00Z

    John Emsley investigates the element that is the lightest of metals and celebrated in song

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    On This Day - Mar 28 : Nuclear plant meltdown

    Overheating in the reactor caused serious damage to fuel rods and created a pressure rise in the system. Valves were opened to lower this pressure but they failed to close again and released radioactive material into the environment.

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    On This Day - Apr 26 : Chernobyl nuclear disaster

    The Chernobyl accident was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.  The resulting steam explosion and fires released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the atmosphere. 

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    On This Day - Dec 24 : Medical use of radioisotope

    American physician and phyicist John Lawrence used phosphorus-32 (32P) to treat a 28 year old woman with chronic leukaemia at Berkeley, California. He became the father of nuclear medicine.

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    On This Day - Dec 17 : Willard Libby was born

    He developed radiocarbon dating and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 “for his method to use carbon-14 for age determination in archaeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science”.

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    On This Day - Dec 15 : Becquerel was born

    He discovered radioactivity from uranium (U) salts and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 along with Pierre and Marie Curie.

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    On This Day – Sep 13 : Americium was made

    This radioactive metal was first produced by B.B. Cunningham and L.B. Werner. Most americium is produced by bombarding uranium (U) or plutonium (Pu) with alpha particles – one tonne of spent nuclear fuel contains about 100 grams of americium. It has few uses other than in smoke alarms.

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    On This Day – Sep 12 : Irène Joliot-Curie born

    Like her parents, she was also a scientist. She and her husband Frédéric bombarded stable atoms with alpha particles to transmute them into different radioactive elements. They created nitrogen (N) from boron (B), phosphorus (P) from aluminium (Al), and silicon (Si) from magnesium (Mg).

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    On This Day - Mar 08 : Otto Hahn was born

    He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for the discovery of nuclear fission in heavy nuclei. He found that when bombarding uranium (U) with neutrons he found evidence of barium (Ba), which could only be explained by splitting of the uranium nucleus in two during bombardment.

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    On This Day - Mar 02 : Discovery of radioactivity

    Becquerel discovered that potassium uranium sulfate crystals can produce images on photographic plates even when kept in the dark. He deduced that the crystals must spontaneously emit radiation, which earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 along with Marie Curie. Related resources: 175 Faces of ...

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    On This Day - Oct 02 : First atomic clock

    Atomic clocks keep time using the microwave signal that is emitted when electrons in atoms change energy levels. This early clock, the Atomicron, used the constant frequency from the oscillations of the caesium (Cs) atom at 9,192,631,830 MHz.

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    On This Day - Dec 02 : Atomic Age began

    The first artificially initiated self-sustained nuclear fission reaction was engineered by the Italian scientist Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago.

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    On This Day - Dec 01 : Martin Klaproth was born

    In 1789 he discovered uranium (U), which was named after the planet Uranus. This planet was actually discovered eight years earlier by another German scientist, William Hershel.

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    On This Day - Jan 26 : Nuclear fission reported

    The discovery was made by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann and was interpreted by Lise Meitner and Otto Frish. Danish physicist Niels Bohr then reported the discovery of nuclear fission at the Washington conference. Related resources: Chemistry will play a central role to the future of UK ...

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    On This Day - Feb 11 : Nuclear fission published

    This paper was the first to explain the theory of nuclear fission, the process by which the nucleus of an atom splits into lighter nuclei and releases a very large amount of energy in doing so.

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    Feature

    Four Curie centennial elements

    2011-03-01T00:00:00Z

    The four Curie elements provide us with an interesting tour of the bottom of the periodic table

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    Feature

    Radium - a key element in early cancer treatment

    2011-03-01T00:00:00Z

    An early example of how blue skies research by Pierre and Marie Curie led to the treatment of previously incurable cancers

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    The Mole

    2012 – neutrino chemistry chaos

    2011-01-01T12:17:00Z

    On screen chemistry with Jonathan Hare

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    Feature

    Ida Noddack and the missing elements

    2009-03-01T00:00:00Z

    Distinguished women chemists were rare in the early 20th century, but their contributions to chemistry are of great significance. Ida Noddack's scientific career centred around her intensive study of the Periodic Table, and resulted in her discovery, with husband Walter Noddack and physicist Otto Berg, of the metal rhenium, and of nuclear fission in the search for element 93. 

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    Dealing with nuclear waste

    2007-03-01T00:00:00Z

    Nuclear power is a low-carbon technology, but it does come with a catch: it produces waste that emits harmful radiation for many thousands, even millions of years. UK chemists, however, are working to produce materials and technology to deal with this problem.